Draycote’s on Fire!

Evening Rise on Draycote Water

Sunset at Draycote

For the last two weekends I’ve had the pleasure of fishing at Draycote water, a water which is now classed as one of the best top of the water fisheries in the UK, and boy did it live up to that statement!

At the beginning of both days the weather wasn’t really in our favour with bright, warm sunshine and light winds. Fortunately there were a couple of fish hitting the surface, mostly to fry around the jetty and the odd fish sipping buzzers. I tackled up with the 12ft fast intermediate mini tip from Airflo, a four fly setup, a sunburst booby on the point, two diawl bachs and a cruncher on the top dropper, all strung together on 10.4lb soft plus Grand Max fluorocarbon.

Tofts was literally stuffed with fish, they were extremely high in the water and would chase the booby as soon as it had hit the surface. One thing I noticed was that if your flies didn’t turn over, you’d struggle to get any takes. The weight of the nymphs and heavy leader above would be just enough to drag the booby down before you had chance to straighten the leader, so turn over was key.

After the first initial ‘pop’ of the booby and there was nothing following, the key was to slow up and fish the booby close to the surface and let the nymphs fall through the top foot or two of water. After the first two or three drifts on both sessions we’d put plenty of fish in the boat ranging between 2.5lbs and 4lbs, a great average for the number of fish caught! As the day progressed we got more follows to the booby, this indicating that the fish had come up even higher in the water with the building cloud.

I came off the mini tip and strung up with a straight floater and two dries on 6lb nylon. The flies were spaced around 10 feet apart, with a 5ft length from a floating poly-leader. First cast, rose one to the top dropper but missed it, a size 12 hopper, re-cast and placed it back in the same place, it came back, this time not leaving it behind.. A cracking first fish on the dry with full silver bloom in its tail.

The fishing from here on was immense with action every drift to the dries. When fishing dries I usually cast very short, usually only 5/6 yards from the boat, mainly to aid sight of the flies but on that particular day the fish were so high in the water, you could literally drop the flies to the end of your rod tip and they would eat it. Being so high in the water the fish couldn’t see the boat, hence them coming closer.

Fly Fishing Draycote

 

How to fish Buzzers

Kieron Ronsfishing Buzzer Article

One of the featured flies – GB No5!

My most recent article on buzzer fishing can be found in this months Total Fly Fisher Magazine, explaining the most effective angles to fish, what flies to fish and sizes to achieve the best from where you’re fishing – including a diagram of my leader setup! Along with 5 favourite patterns.

Inside this months magazine you can find:

Buzzers, The Angle of the Dangle – Kieron Jenkins

FLY V’S LURE! – Steve Cullen

Predator Prime Time – David Heseltine

Surface Sport Guaranteed – Matthew Eastham

Tackle Awards 2014!

And much more…

Purchase the current Total Fly Fisher magazine here: http://www.totalflyfisher.com/current-issue Or at your local news agents.

 

6 River Fishing Tips

When river fishing, there’s nothing worse than not being in the mood. Fishing a river can be challenging when you’re on the ball, let alone when you’re off it, so keeping everything in check and your fishing tackle in order could save your sanity when your struggling to keep things together.

Here are 6 tips to keep yourself in the game, even on those off days.

  1. Make sure your kit is prepared the night before you go, there’s nothing worse than leaving a piece of tackle at home
  2. Prepare your flies – Never be caught short without your favourite patterns.
  3. Keep your fly vest organised
  4. Ensure you have all the parts to your rod… (Yeah – I’ve done it!)
  5. Clean your fly lines after each trip or so, that means they’ll perform just as well on your next trip.
  6. Dry your waders after every trip, nobody likes wearing damp, smelly waders.
Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall

Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall

 

 

Rivers International 2014

Welsh-Team-with-Trophy

For the thirds consecutive year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the Welsh international team which has won Gold at the rivers championship – And each one feels better than the last.

Fishing for your country is a pleasure and being part of such a strong team has its perks, you always learn of each other and watch how other anglers fish and approach a water – Which is what being in a team is about.

At dinner time, Wales were leading the field by 2 place points and we all went into the third session with renewed confidence. After dropping 4 place points in the third session, England were ahead going into the 4th session. But after a good last session for Wales we brought the score to a level playing field. The final score went on the accumulated number of fish points and we came out n top by just 8 points! That’s 8cm in length overall! An extremely close match, too close for my liking! For more of a report see here : Rivers International Report

Anyway, that’s enough about the scoring, lets move onto the fishing. When we fished the river Ure first of all the water was high, coloured and frankly awesome; we caught plenty of fish on all sorts of methods, with many fish being caught on dry flies in the slack water. When we arrived just a week before the match, the Ure was a totally different river. On it’s bones and still dropping throughout the week. As comp day approached much of the water was either dead slow – just like a still-water – and just a trickle at the head of the run.

Fishing the Ure Kieron Jenkins

Dries and nymphs was certainly the way to go, with many small grayling and decent trout occupying the middle of the the runs. As a team we put all our eggs in one basket and set out with one fly rod solely for dry fly fishing and the other, for a single nymph technique. My best nymph throughout the whole week had to be CDC Red tag and the Olive blob tail nymph. The Olive nymph also worked well with a bright orange bead – I must thank Toby at Funky Fly Tying for sending up a load of beads the day before the match – Saved our Ass!

For me, the competition was fairly tough, with some decent anglers in my group, and many lost fish, I managed a respectable 7th place position – Taking a 1st, 3rd, 4th and a 1st position in the four sessions. It didn’t help being drawn a mile away from the fish in the second half of the day, and having to hike back up stream to where the majority of the fish were!

As a team we fished extermely well together and I for one am extremely proud of each angler.

Next competition for me is the Lexus team comp and then the rivers trial the day after! Wish me luck :)

Float Tubing on Cwm Hedd

As the nights start to get longer, only just before they start getting short again, there’s plenty of light left to head to a river or pond after work. Fortunately for me – Cwm Hedd is only 15 minutes away and over the last two week’s I’ve managed to blow the float tube up and have a couple of sessions.

The evening fishing at Cwm Hedd has been brilliant with plenty of fish feeding from the surface. Most fish have been taking egg laying buzzers, keeping the fish extremely high in the water for prolonged periods of time. My favourite fly for these egg layers is a cull, pictured below. Fished on it’s own or in a team of two, with a red shipman’s buzzer on the dropper, these two flies have been taking the majority of my fish recently.

cwm-hedd-dries-ronsfishing

Just last night I managed two and lost two from the float tube in a 50 minute session. The cull doing the damage again. The fish were leader shy so de-greasing the leader regularly helped no end when trying to sink the leader in next to flat calm conditions.

*Don’t forget to toggle the quality*

Brown Trout fishing on the River Cothi

It’s not often I get the chance to fish purely wild rivers nowadays, mostly due to the fact that a lot of the rivers here in south Wales are stocked sometime through the season, even the upper reaches have fish introduced each year, with some stocked fish somehow finding their way upstream to non-stocked areas.

Considering the amount of river fishing I do and with countless invites from my good friend Steffan Jones to come down and fish, I finally took him up on the offer to fish the upper Cothi on the Wye and Usk foundation tickets. Gavin Perry and Steffan were late as usual, which left David Watkins and I waiting for well over an hour…

However, they soon turned up and before I knew it Gavin and I paired up making our way upstream from the junction of the Cothi and river Twrch. It was some time before any of us connected with a fish, im not sure if us walking on the high bank may have been spooking them or if it was Gavin’s angling ability, but he soon proved me wrong when we made our way into the first deepish run, taking two fish in consecutive casts using an hare’s ear jig he tied back in 2005!

Gavin Perry River Cothi Brown Trout

Gavin with a cracker from the Cothi

As most of you will know, fishing so far up the river system the fish aren’t going to be big at all, a 7/8 inch fish will be considered a large fish with the average being just a few inches. Catching such fish can give you great confidence in your own angling ability let alone for the future of the river. Although we didn’t catch many of the larger fish (pictured) we got many small fish, mostly on the nymphs.

Kieron Jenkins River Cothi Brown Trout

Myself with a 8 incher!

River Cothi Brown Trout

Another of the better fish….

 

 

Brown Trout on the Wurum

Do you ever get those days where you just have to get out fishing? You have absolutely nothing else to do but tie flies, the weather is dismal, most wouldn’t even venture outside to walk the dog, but you still decide to put on your chest waders and go fishing.

A few weeks ago I done just that. The day before we had some heavy rain, just enough to make things a little uncomfortable whilst wading, and to raise the river a few inches. More than I’d expected actually. I strung together the French leader and nymphed a few likely looking runs, the water was pushing hard and very little fly life appeared throughout the day. But the video below shows how fishing to the conditions can be very rewarding…

With the rising river many bankside bugs and larva can get washed into the water, with the worm being most common. It was only a week before I caught a trout just below an small inlet that actually had a worm hanging out of it’s mouth, so the worm went on and withing 10 chucks I managed to net this little beauty. 9 inches of perfectly wild trout from a secret location high up in the mountains.

The worm is big, nearly 4 inches long, but the movement it gives is unreal and the feel it has must be very much like the real thing… although I haven’t tried it… I really can’t wait to try the black ones!